26th March – 29th March 2013
The bus trip from Mendoza to Santiago was ever so extremely spectacular. The contrasting bright blue sky with not a cloud to be seen against the burnt oranges and earthly brown tones of the Andes Mountains, was a colourful sensation to my eyes. The scenery stayed with us for majority of our bus ride until we hit the edge of Santiago. The mountainous landscape now surrounded the city, 360 degrees.
In our first few moments of Santiago, it was clear this was a city full of creativity and sweet smells. As we made our way to the hostel the streets were lined with graffiti, sophisticated designed information graphics, advertisements and well organised transportation. A city not so spontaneous as Buenos Aires. After making our way through the sweet smelling streets, we made it to our hostel. It was in a nice part of Santiago, painted with beautiful organic and flowing artworks around every corner. Along with the wafting smells of sweet bakeries everywhere you walked.
The few days that followed found us exploring the beautiful Art galleries, parks and bars. We found this amazing park that was smack bang in the middle of Santiago situated on a hill. Beautiful rock carved stairs, paths and fountains made us feel like we were in an enchanted garden surrounded by the bustling city. We climbed the many stone steps that lead us to the very top where we had a 360 degree view of the city. I’m not so sure if I loved the view of sky rises but it was still a spectacular outlook. With a beautiful old arch structure over looking the smoggy city. We continued our day by lazing in the park and eating lunch then onto MAC, Museum of Art Contemporary. There was many wonderful artworks that captured our attention for hours. I was inspired by an Chilean artist ‘Asger Jorn’ and his wonderful use of abstraction. His work was simple yet intriguing and inspired me to get back into my painting and drawing. After a wonderful day cruising the streets of Santiago we made our way back to the hostel. We were both a little tired and our exhaustion got the better of us. Exhaustion and trying to find a supermarket are not a good combo. We both could not find the supermarket we had been to only hours before. We walked back and forth on the same street five times until we approach a couple and realised we were only one block away.
Our next day of adventures found ourselves making our way to Bella Vista, a very cool and trendy part of Santiago. French guy had told us Pablo Neruda, a famous Chilean poet so we trekked across town to find crazy and eccentric’s poet’s house. Only to find the only English tour was at 5pm and you couldn’t go through unless you were on a tour. We weren’t waiting four hours for the next tour so went made our way back through some wonderful restaurants and cafés and sat down for some lunch before wondering back through Santiago checking out some wonderful old churches and beautiful street art. We were meeting up with some Chilean friends of mine I knew from Sydney so after admiring the graffiti it was back to the hostel to get ready and out again for dinner and drinks.
We met Benji at this delicious Chilean restaurant and bar. Benji is my good friend Amy’s boyfriend from Sydney. He is originally from Santiago and just happened to be home visiting family for two weeks. We also met up with Claudio who I knew from Sydney. So we made our way across Santiago to this lovely little restaurant where we spent the evening eating, drinking and being merry with Benji, Claudio, Paula and Francisco. After a delicious meal and some Chilean style drinks we made our way to a rock bar where Paula and Francisco knew the owner. After a few more drinks and some hard core rocking out, then some more drinks and then some rocking, drinks, rocking hard core and then more hard core drinking, it was time for Corey to have a spew in the park. I was so proud of myself, we had been drink for drink all night and I managed to be fine and dandy. I was doing Australia proud!! Way too wasted, we found ourselves crashing at Paula and Francisco’s as finding our way back to the hostel may have ended up with spewing Corey and I getting disastrously lost. A lovely evening to end our time in Santiago.